Koger Plantation – Grover – Dorchester County
Much of the information on this page was contributed by Beverly Mott, a descendant of the Koger family.
Location – Grover, St George Parish, Dorchester County
Located about 2½ miles west of Grover on SC State Road 19 just before it crosses I-95
Origin of name – Named for a previous owner
Other names – Old Carroll Place
Current status – Owned by the Upper Dorchester County Historical Society
1760-1787 – Earliest known date of existence
Sometime between 1760 and 1787 Joseph Koger I purchased the land that would become Koger Plantation. It is not know if he lived there with his wife, Eva Lemacks Koger. The plantation eventually totaled 2,900 acres.
In 1755, Joseph Koger petitioned the Commons House of Assembly in regards to a machine he was inventing "for a more easy, quick, and advantageous method of pounding Rice." In his petition he states that he is a German Protestant who has been in this Province for about twenty years. He is asking for assistance in completing his invention as he has no money and is relying on his neighbors "for the support of himself, his Wife and Children, in the bare necessarys of Life." He is further distressed as "his House, Tools, and the little all he had lately burnt to Ashes."
In response, the General Assembly appropriated £500 towards to use of two slaves for Koger’s use and benefit (Salley, p. 18-20).
Click here to read a copy of the petition.
1792 – A house was built on the property by Joseph Koger II, son of Joseph Koger I.
The house was built along the stagecoach route and wagon road from Charleston to Augusta. It was later used as a stagecoach stop and inn (The Times and Democrat).
According to the News and Courier article of 1933 it took twelve years to build the house. Many slaves died due to heat stroke while working on the house.
1803 – Bishop Francis Asbury noted in his journal that he crossed the Edisto River and stopped in to dine with Captain Koger Tuesday, November 29.
Bishop Francis Asbury was a Methodist from England. He came to the New World to preach and bring people to God.
1812 – Joseph Koger II became a Captain and had a company of men during the War of 1812. He fought under Lieutenant Colonel John Rutledge's 3rd Regiment SC Troops (SC Troops).
Joseph Koger II later moved to Mississippi. David Gavin, a friend and neighbor in South Carolina, recorded in his journal:
"Maj. Joseph Koger died in Noxabee Co. Miss August 25th 1866. He represented St. Georges parish six years in the Hou. Rep. and twenty in the senate, and was the first sheriff elected by the people of Colleton Disct. So. Ca. He emigrated to Noxabee Co. Miss in 1838 and served four years in the senate of Miss. He was nearly 90 y old and an extra ordinary man." (Gavin, p. 319).
1825 – The plantation only consisted of 1,000 acres, the other parcels having been sold.
1837 – The plantation was sold to John Soule Murray.
Up to this point Joseph Koger III and his wife, Abigail Sligh Milhouse Koger, had occupied the plantation. It is not known when he came into possession of the property.
? – The plantation was sold to Judge James Parsons Carroll who used it as a summer home.
Judge Carroll was a member of the SC State House of Representatives from 1838-40, a member of the South Carolina State Senate from 1853-54, and 1858-59, and a delegate to the South Carolina Secession Convention of 1860.
? – The plantation was sold to H. Allen Westendorff of the Panama Canal Zone.
1947 – The property was sold to Fitzhugh L. Sweatman, Sr.
1986 – The property was owned by Fitzhugh L. Sweatman, Jr.
2003 – Fitzhugh L. Sweatman, Jr. and his wife, Martha, donated the home, along with one acre of land, to the Upper Dorchester County Historical Society.
2005 – The Upper Dorchester County Historical Society was awarded a $2,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the restoration of the house. The grant, along with funds raised loacally, will be used to do a structural assessment and develop restoration plans for the Koger House (The Times and Democrat).
Number of acres – 2,900; 1,000 in 1825
Gravestone - photo from 1974
There are six known burials on the plantation, however, only two gravestones remain. One is located about 150 feet from the house and the other is located about 1½ miles east of the house, deep in the woods. Click here to read the inscriptions on the gravestones.
In 1979 Fitzhugh L. Sweatman stated that there was a stone for Joseph Koger at one point, but he was unable to locate it despite a thorough search of the surrounding woods.
Primary crop –
Alphabetical list – James Parsons Carroll; Joseph Koger I; Joseph Koger II; Joseph Koger III; John Soule Murray; Fitzhugh L. Sweatman, Sr.; Fitzhugh L. Sweatman, Jr.; Upper Dorchester Historical Society; H. Allen Westendorff
Number of slaves – 1806 Joseph Koger purchased Hugh, Dinah, Hector & Sylvia from James Maull; 42 in 1850; 26 in 1860 (Census Records)
Plantation House - photo from 1974
The plantation house was built in 1792 in the Georgian style. It is two stories with an attic/dormer and a rear shed porch that has been enclosed. The house is built of black cypress and rests on brick pillar foundations. The dates 1792 and 1829 have been carved in the two chimneys. The 1829 date might signify the completion of an addition or renovation (National Register, p. 2).
In 1974, the house was being used as a barn. In 2003, the house was donated to the Upper Dorchester Historical Society. The goal is to restore the house and use it as a repository for historic documents.
National Register of Historic Places
– Nomination form - submitted in 1974 by William H. Brabham - requires Adobe Reader
– Photographs, architectural overview
Historical Dorchester County landmark to be restored - The Times and Democrat, January 13, 2005
Koger House Historical Marker Dedication - There are some notable errors on the historical marker: Mr. Murray might have been Joseph III's uncle, but could not have been his brother-in-law; the house was built in 1792 - the year is inscribed in the concrete on top of the chimney; and Joseph Koger III sold the house.
Introduction of Rice Culture into South Carolina - online book by A.S. Salley. Scroll down to page 18 to begin the petition submitted by Joseph Koger I.
South Carolina's War of 1812 Units - Regiments and Companies
Bishop Francis Asbury - a short biography and picture
Upper Dorchester County Historical Society
David Gavin, The Diary of David Gavin: St. George's Parish - Dorchester County South Carolina 1855-1874, (Spartanburg, SC: The Reprint Company, 2004).
Lillian H. Harley, Pattie W. Heaton, and Lillian D. Kizer, Cemetery Inscriptions of Dorchester County, South Carolina, (St. George, SC: Dorchester Eagle-Record Publishing Company, 1978-1980).
Nancy R. Mott visited Mr. Sweatman, Jr., toured the home, and was taken to the headstone in the woods (April 1, 1979).
News and Courier, 1933 - click here to read the article
A.S. Salley, Introduction of Rice Culture into South Carolina, (Columbia, SC: The State Company, 1919).
Upper Dorchester County Historical Society
PO Box 15
Dorchester, SC 29437